Tag Archives: Cheese Scones

These are the Scones

Yes, they don’t look like scones, but they are.

The original recipe for these came from the Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA) and seemed to be just the sort of recipe I was looking for, as it included some teaching points and was an easy recipe for a class to do.

I can’t find the original recipe on the internet as I can’t get a working link to the HGCA, but this link seems to have the same recipe as I remember it. I have a vague feeling that the HGCA recipe might have had mustard powder in it to accentuate the taste of the cheese.

And I probably used self-raising flour because it’s easier than using baking powder.

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Seeds, flour, cheese – at one time I had aspirations to write a book on food

They use rapeseed oil instead of butter, which makes it a quicker and easier recipe, and allows discussion of oilseed rape as a crop, the perils of monoculture, EU grants (at the time), self-sufficiency in food production and plant breeding. It’s also sold as vegetable oil in supermarkets as the word rape isn’t seen as being particularly positive from a marketing point of view, and Canola oil in the USA. IT also makes it easier to make if you have arthritic fingers. I was just starting to develop arthritis in the final year on the farm and my fingers would ache after a long baking session.

The recipe, with seeds and cheese is quite pleasant and always went down well. I used to cook them for the group when we were on the farm because everyone likes to tear off a warm scone. From a practical point of view it is easier to do them this way than to use a cutter as a scone cutter won’t cut seeds and things get a bit messy. If you go for a rustic tear and share look nobody notices that they are messy.

With a different selection of seeds

With a different selection of seeds

I have used the recipe to make successful fruit scones and developed the recipe for date and Stilton scones. It’s a bit fiddly because you have to cut the dates into smaller pieces and crumble the Stilton, but it worked quite well. Initially I halved the quantity of cheese when using Stilton, because it’s a strong tasting cheese. That strength of flavour doesn’t really come through in a scone and we ended up going back to using the full amount.

Before batching - Date and Stilton Scones

Before batching – Date and Stilton Scones

I seem to have used flax seed in the mix. I don’t honestly remember doing that but the camera doesn’t lie. It also seems that I cut the narrow end of the cheese off for cookery, which is frowned on. You are supposed to cut it along the length of the wedge so that everyone gets a bit of the outer edge and a bit of the central part of the cheese, which is supposedly riper than the outer edge. .

Despite this, I remember that they tasted good and that I thought this was the start of me becoming a cook and food blogger. In hindsight, life can be very cruel.

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Date and Stilton scone with at least one pumpkin seed in it.

If I can get any flour I’m feeling inspired to make these again.

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Yes, a single pumpkin seed. Worrying. It suggests I didn’t clean the bowl properly between mixes.

The plates were part of a set my mother got as a promotional offer from Boots. She didn’t use them much and passed them on to us. We didn’t use them much and passed them on the the farm. I once put one in the microwave – the silver line around the rim produced some alarming sparks. At that point I remembered my mother telling me not to use them in the microwave. I didn’t forget again.

Baking brings back a lot of memories.

A touch of cookery

Apart from the weather (see previous post) it’s been a good day, with a possible new member coming to have a look at us. It was a good day to visit, as we had had a cooking session planned, which ended with us eating cheese scones and lavender biscuits.

Yes, the same lavender biscuits and cheese scones we have been cooking for a couple of weeks now, but people like them and we have the ingredients.

This is the recipe for the scones – it’s an easy one because it uses rapeseed oil (or canola if you want the American translation)  instead of butter. It’s therefore probably healthier for you (though these food fads could be reversed next week), cheaper and considerably easier. My scones never reach that “fine crumb” stage, on account of having hands like bunches of bananas.

Please note at this point – I’m using the cheapest oil for this recipe as it doesn’t need a quality oil. In fact I use the cheapest oil for most purposes – we are self-sufficient in it and that’s a good enough reason for me to think of changing from olive oil if all else is equal.

As usual, it’s difficult to tell where  the truth lies because the we internet contains a web of science, lies and stupidity that makes it tricky to see the truth. Good luck if you’re the sort of person who likes to base decisions on all the facts, because you’re going to have plenty of hard work  looking for them.

The lavender biscuits contain flour, sugar, lavender and butter.

I can’t link to the recipe because Julia has it on a scrap of paper, but there are plenty of recipes about if you want one.

Next step for the scones is to try blue cheese and pear and Stilton and date. Next step for the lavender biscuits is to try a recipe with rosemary.

If you don’t hear any more about them you can take it that they failed.

If the blog stops, you can take it that they were fatal…

Meanwhile, here are some pictures of our fruit and veg, which is finally coming to life. And a cricket – we don’t actually eat them.

Finally, on a sadder note, we lost two chicks today and we aren’t sure why. The keets are looking well and if they are still OK by Wednesday they should be safe. Fingers crossed.

 

 

Toddlers, scones and grants

Another day, another group!

What, you didn’t think I was going to relax did you?  It was a playgroup today,  Beavers on Tuesday night and the second half of the playgroup on Thursday. It’s not quite the endurance test that last week was, but it’s enough. Much as I’d like to indulge my natural talents as a world class slacker, I have to work when there are wages to be had.

The trouble with playgroups is that the kids zip around like miniature demons looking for mischief to get into. They don’t mean it, but it seems logical to them to lose their parent, fill a friend’s pocket with stones or disappear as you turn your back.  They think adventure, the parents think tragedy and I think reams of paperwork. Fortunately they never seem to come to any harm, but you worry all the same.

We made more cheese scones today, using the “mistake” from the session on Saturday. One of the guide groups had used a tablespoonful of  baking powder to 225g of flour instead of 1 teaspoon. All it needed was 450g of flour to restore the proportions and three of us set to work producing scones, which were then consumed at the end of the day. They were OK, but not very cheesy, which is a bit of a let-down for a recipe labelled “cheese scones”.

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The scone crew

It’s always been a reliable recipe, and I suspect that they main problem was the quality of the cheese and lack of other seasoning. When I’ve made them before I’ve often added either mustard powder or chives to the mix, which both enhance flavour. In the case of the mustard it also renders the scones implausibly yellow. I generally use the cheap ready-grated cheese from Tesco, so can’t complain about the cheese. I’m thinking of making them with either finely cubed strong cheddar or Stilton next time, rather than grated, to see what happens.

The problem is that I’ve baked cheese scones twice in three days and my enthusiasm for testing improved versions is declining to the point where I don’t actually want to see another one for a while.

Talking of Stilton, our local cheese, I wonder what will happen to its protected status. Say what you like about the EU, and let’s face it, a lot has been said recently, it has been good for protecting our speciality food.

Leading on from that, we have had a message about ringing to talk about our grant application now the referendum is over. Can’t wait to see what happens about that…

 

 

Six!

At last. I love my job, but after six visits in six days you can have too much of a good thing.

As it happens, the 1st Calverton Guides have been here more than any other group, so it wasn’t a difficult day. Out to the chicks, on to the workshop (because I’m trying to sell the idea of coming out to build nest boxes) and into a technical session on eggs. It was their misfortune to be used as guinea pigs for my new presentation. They said it was fine, but the glazed expressions suggested I might need to do a bit more work on it. Fortunately Julia has just taken delivery of a box of egg resources, though I didn’t feel confident enough to open it and start using it without practice.

The goats got out twice, which provided some light relief, and England beat Australia 44-40 to mark what is probably a false dawn in English Rugby. It’s good, and it looks like a cracking game from the reports, but it won’t be the first time an English sports team has failed to build on success. That has nothing to do with the day really, but it felt good to write “England beat Australia”. having said that, after Thursday’s vote on leaving the EU I’d better start being nice to the Australians as we now need them for more than just bar work.

The afternoon cookery session was seeded cheese scones using rapeseed oil (or vegetable oil as the Bowdlerised version has it). It’s a recipe from the Home Grown Cereals Authority, based on the fact that we are self-sufficient in oilseed rape and that it is less fatty than butter. I like it because it’s easier than rubbing in butter.

They must have liked it because we are already discussing the next date – all I need to do is find another activity to do!

So, it looks like I managed to end on a high note, though that was mainly due to the chicks once more. Personal high point of the day was when they did the washing up for me – after six days of visits that was a big positive.

Now I’d better get working on next week’s visits and on cleaning the incubator.